Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meta-blog

I've been searching for a common theme for this blog.  You know, the theme that sort of ties the blog together.  There are travel blogs and DIY blogs and .gif blogs with hilarious images where readers are like:
Reader: "Why would I read this blog?  Oh, because I love to travel too!"
or
Reader: "I love fish tanks, I'm so glad there's a website dedicated to the tutorial of how to make interesting tanks!"
or
Reader: "This person is hilarious, I want to be her."

Instead, my blog is a mishmash of life-bits and pictures.  I keep searching for a theme.  I don't want to turn this into a wedding blog just because I spend a lot of my free time on pinterest, browsing the many details of wedding planning.  I am failing at cooking blogs because really, I'm just a recipe-following cook in the kitchen.  I failed at an exercise blog because, honestly, I don't do anything remotely interesting fitness-wise (although I did run this morning in 10 degree weather with snow on the ground).

It's also this time of year that I start to think of New Years Resolutions which always leads me to think about my hobbies.  I have a lot of hobbies.  I talked to one of the teachers I work with and I asked her if she had any hobbies and she said she didn't have time to have hobbies because being a teacher is a lot of work.  I felt bad, because I don't like giving up my hobbies.  I think my hobbies are what make me an interesting person to talk to and to spend time with.  I also always want to try out new hobbies, which leaves me with even less time.

So today, I started to crochet a shawl.

There is no point to this blog entry today, other than to blog about what I should be blogging.  This blog took an existential turn on me.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NaNoWriMo

I got to substitute in a Creative Writing class today.  I know, this is like super far from the mathematics realm, but it was kind of nice to experience because almost everything about a writing class is different from a math class.  In writing classes, there are rubrics, there is the cooperation of creative and linguistic endeavors, and students spend long classes working independently.  In math classes, there are example problems, practice, reviews, formulas, theories, application of vocabulary in a numerical context, and problem solving.

The students in this class were instructed to write a 10 minute play about anything they desired.  The only cavet?  They needed to use at least three forms of persuasion (bribery, flattery, praise, threats, blackmail, pleading/begging, positive/negative emotional appeal).  While I was walking around, convincing students to keep on task and to work on their assignment, I realized how much I really missed writing creatively.  I mean, that's what draws me to having a blog.  I started getting into the concept of having a blog when I was working on math assignments non-stop, and all I wrote about all day were proofs.  I grew tired of that very specialized form of creativity; writing proofs takes thought and cleverness, but it's reason and logic, not emotion and dramatization.  I missed it.  

Since I no longer have math assignments or teaching assignments to do, I really want to spend some time this month writing creatively.  When I was brainstorming today, I found out what NaNoWriMo is and now one of my friends' facebook statuses make a ton of sense.  NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month.  I thought my friend was talking baby-talk or something crazy like that.  I really should ask more questions when I think absurd things.  Anyway, I think NaNoWriMo is in November, so I missed it this year.  But maybe I can do some work and get my future students involved in this concept in 2013, despite being a math teacher?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Engaged

I got engaged this weekend!  It's real!  It happened!  It's taking me awhile to realize that this ring I am wearing is mine and I'm going to get married to my best friend!  Whaaaaaat.

The whole proposal ordeal was beautiful and special and everything a girl asks for; Nick did a really great job :)  Nick proposed at Beaver Point (not the real name of the place... I'm not sure it has a real name) and I cried and it was the most perfect ring and everything.  Then a random jogger went by and I blurted out that I just got engaged and he said congratulations and I felt bad because I told a random stranger first instead of like, my parents or Nick's parents.  This is my life.

I also finished all my school work so I should be starting my student teaching in January!  I was so excited that I didn't have a lot to do today so I decorated my fridge to look like a snowman.  Isn't he cute?  This is what happens when I'm looking up ideas for a wedding on pinterest and then I realize "hey, I can do that unrelated project in like 10 minutes".... so I did.

I also put up strings of lights around my apartment, so it's getting really festive in here.  I'm getting a little sad because I didn't really want to travel this Christmas but I think it'll be a good idea to see both my family and Nick's family since we just got engaged.  I don't know why I feel like a homebody right now.  I have the rest of my life to sit at home and snuggle with my cat.  So maybe I am excited to go on vacation then :)  Or I'm going to try to be!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Internets are scary

It was a beautiful day when Nick and I went to the apple orchard to get a pumpkin.  Usually when we go pumpkin-picking, it is a clear bright day.  This time was no exception.  Eating a caramel apple outside in October is way nicer when it's beautiful and only slightly cool outside, instead of being ridiculously hot or ungodly cold.  What's sad though is we didn't get the chance to carve it and it ended up just rotting and we had to get rid of it.  Sad pumpkin.  Happy Jenni holding said pumpkin.
I recently read a blog in which the author's frenemies found out she was spending a lot of time talking about them and their lives in her blog, so she shut down the blog and faced a lot of backlash from it.  I felt really bad for her because she was a good writer and I am kind of a gossip so I enjoyed the content of the posts.  But it made me feel bad about posting pictures of my friends or Nick on the blog because you truly don't know who is reading it.  I don't want to defame my friends even though they pick the most embarrassing pictures of me on Facebook.  Blogging versus Facebook, which is more poisonous to personal image?

On a "the internet is a vast, anonymous, scary, dangerous, embarrassing, unknown place" topic, has anyone here watched Catfish, the tv show?  That is some seriously weird stuff.  Don't trust anyone on the internet who says they love you and want to but refuse to meet you or Skype with you.  Seems like common sense but there is a whole tv show dedicated to exposing people who do this.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fantasy basketball, yay or nay?

Yesterday I got to see the timberwolves win an exhibition game at home against the bulls. It's around this time of basketball preseason when I start to get super excited about basketball... and fantasy basketball.  My first year with fantasy basketball was really fun and exciting, until the playoffs when I sort of dropped off the radar because I was working and studying and just forgot to set my lineup.

Last year, I got really excited about fantasy basketball (FBB) and I got Nick really excited too, so we joined a league together, talked smack while drafting our teams, and then promptly forgot about the whole thing and just got excited about watching Ricky Rubio instead.

So this year, I'm skeptical about the whole thing.  I really want to participate in FBB but instead, I find myself wondering if I have time.  I love the amount of work I have right now; do I really want the added pressure of setting a team each day/week?  It's up in the air.



Saturday, October 13, 2012

Giada's Thai Boo Boo

I look up from my notes.  "Nick, how would you describe our Friday night in three words?"
Nick pauses his level in Super Mario 64 to consider this. "Giada's Thai Boo Boo"
I type the title, swivel in my swivel chair, and giggle.  "I think Boo Boo is two words..."
Nick gives me a sheepish, half-cocky shrug.  "That's what I'm picking... I don't like rules"

To be in our twenties and be spending Friday nights the way that we spend Friday nights is a little odd.  Yet I find myself marveling in the action-packed, diversely engrossing "hanging out" we find ourselves engaged in every night.

First, I put together some spicy Thai noodles.  I chopped up some peanuts, some green onions, and some cilantro.  I shredded some carrots and made a red chilli, peanut oil, honey, and soy sauce concoction, and tossed it all together (leave out the cilantro next time, totally over-powering).  Obviously delicious.  Gotta start our night out right.

We ate our clearly aphrodisiac food while watching the least sexy show on tv: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  We also continued to eat after seeing the forklift foot.  It was slightly traumatizing.  We laughed with Sugar Bear and the wig shop named "Shhh... it's a wig" (just say it quickly and you can laugh too).

After we exhausted the HCHBB episodes OnDemand, Nick begged and begged me to watch an episode of Giada At Home.  Yes.  Nick begged me to watch it.  I am totally down for any cooking show, any time, anywhere, any cook.

But Nick and I do not just watch tv with a large-headed, narrow-shouldered, size -4 Italian chef.  We play drinking games.  We drank any time she said something exaggeratedly Italian ("amaretto" was her constant Italian word this episode).  We drank any time she transitioned with the word "now".  We drank any time there was an artsy transition that seemed entirely unnecessary ("Camera 1B, zoom in on those red poppies.... aaaand we're out, great job Giada").  These rules were enough to get us sufficiently buzzed.  And, I got this sweet recipe.

Nick went to sleep shortly after that but I stayed up and read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on my Kindle.  My thoughts on this book can be found here.  What?  It's a new thing I'm trying.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Yep, I managed to bring up the subject of ducks again

Quotes from today:

  • "You're really good at naming ducks"
  • "I like learning about history when I don't have to remember it"
  • "We knock you out, you call a friend you trust, everyone goes home a hero"
Information gained today:
  1. Insurance companies are super confusing and IMHO excessively complicated.
  2. Surveys can take longer than an hour.
  3. It's Chevy Truck Month.
  4. The last level on Kingdom Rush on the iPad is super tough because that mockingly obnoxious boss turns into a fully healed monster at the end when you think you've killed him BUT NO he makes you lose and you wasted an hour of your day.
I received some beautiful and eccentric flowers today from my boyfriend's mom as a congratulations for getting into my January 2013 cohort.  I feel all special inside.  Of course I don't feel bad at all for playing a game instead of working on my schoolwork... oh wait....

I think the vase is super cool.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Duck, duck, goose. No, just duck.

You know what's sad?  All of my pictures from previous posts are gone.  I wonder if this is a result of my recent purge of all personal information from the internet.  It's crazy how much information is out there about me.  As a future teacher, I feel this odd necessity to be a ghost on the internet.  I keep trying to shut down my facebook but for some reason I keep finding myself logging in again and again.  Addicting.

I'm going to try to restore them but... gee.  That sounds really time consuming.  I had started a couple other blogs since my last post but I find myself drawn back to this one.  The blog name is too much fun!!

So, as promised by the title, here is a picture I took of a duck in San Antonio.  Her name is Dolly.   Unless it's a boy.  And then he is going to have gender identification issues later in life.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Introducing Pax

Nick and I drove out to Jordan, MN to meet with this adorable couple and their baby and take a look at their two cats.  I loved both of their cats upon meeting them, but one of them was so beautiful and friendly that we decided to take him home to see if he would like us.

Introducing Pax, 3 years old, male cat.

video

Yeah, he's really cute.  I think we're going to get along just fine.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I love rainy days

My Lia Sophia party was a success.  I made all sorts of food and had a great time baking for 9 hours during my day, and I thought the food came out terrific.  I don't like muffins so I didn't think the muffins were amazing, but other people ate them so I guess they weren't horrible.

I am taking the Praxis mathematics content exam next Saturday.  I am taking a break from studying by writing this blog pretty quickly.  This exam doesn't really mean anything in Minnesota; you don't need it to become a teacher up here.  However, WGU asks that I demonstrate proficiency in math by taking this content exam so I need to pass it for them.  I took a look over the review materials and I don't think it will be that difficult.

Tomorrow I am driving out to Jordan MN to look at a kitty.  I hope it's not as rainy today, even though I do like rain.  I think it inspires me.  Hence today's thought:




My spacing is all off on this post but I like the fonts.  Next time I will have to find my ruler.  Also I really want to go to JoAnn Fabrics and buy some more felt tip pens, maybe in different colors other than black....?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Freud Was Right

Day 2 of missing Bentley.  I miss having him around as company more than anything else.  It is so lonely, and so quiet here.  No soft purring, no stretching, no yawning, no meows in the morning when it is time to feed him, no meowing at the door waiting for me to come home.  I am so lonely and so sad without him.

I have his footprint in clay (see last post), and oddly enough I have two vials of his blood.  This sounds really gross, and I'm sure everyone reading this is uncomfortable with the thought of me having his blood, and I would probably be really repulsed by this in other circumstances considering my vegetarianism.... but it is oddly comforting.  I will probably hang on to it for a little while longer until I give it back to the vet.

I think I am actually handling this pretty well.  I know I could be a lot worse.  No matter how much I am grieving now, it becomes more obvious that I should probably look to get another kitty.  I liked having feline company with me.  While no cat is going to be as awesome or going to have such an incredible history involving feats of gratitude, inheritance, and human kindness (a la Margaret), I know that without a kitty in my life I am going to grieve Bentley even more.  And continue to ask why he had to leave me all by myself.

No kitty will replace Bentley, but I need a new roommate to heal my loneliness.  And I think Bentley is sad he had to leave me by myself, which is why he acted nonchalant and even tried to spend as much time with me as he could on my lap, despite his very uncomfortable breathing situation.




Time spent with cats is never wasted.
-Sigmund Freud

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bentley, 9 Years Old


My best friend passed away last night.
I am doing okay today, not great.  Not as bad as last night.

His x-rays showed huge masses of fluid that concealed his heart, pushed his trachea up against his spine, and compressed his lungs.  He is in a much better place now, and when we said goodbye I know he smiled at me and thanked me for taking care of him when Margaret passed away.  Bentley was the best cat I could have hoped for and I miss him.

Luckily I have great support from my friends and family and I know I will get through this.  It is unexpected by you know how the saying goes...




Death ends a life, not a relationship.
-Jack Lemmon

Monday, April 16, 2012

Diarrhea is the worst

But it's just as bad when your favorite cat in the whole world gets sick and has diarrhea and all you want to do is make him feel better but you can't feed him anything because he is pooping everywhere :(

I also have trouble controlling myself when it comes to taking pictures of my cat.......






Look how sad he is :(

I am not entirely sure why I put only "get well Bentley" instead of "get well soon, Bentley" or something like that.  I had plenty of space.  I just want him to get better, no matter how long it takes I guess.  He is going to the vet tonight, so.... I hope everything is going to be ok.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#23

It is my birthday!

My boss Colleen gave me a cupcake at work today, hence today's post(it).  Flowers are courtesy of Nick, who greeted me at the airport yesterday at midnight to wish me a happy birthday.... and to drive me and my luggage home. 




Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days.  I have been visiting my dad down in Texas and we had action packed days full of doing taxes (whee...), going in the spa, running, reading, working, bowling (I went 0-4), billiards (I also was 0-4), drinking, baking, talking, more running, eating tacos, ultimate frisbee....... and there was really no time to post much.  I'm not sure who all is devastated by this, but hopefully these non-existent beings I left desperate for a post will forgive me an will look forward to my next few!

Had a couple of difficult decisions over the weekend too.  It's always hard to leave my family, but I love seeing them so much so it's harder to stay away.  I also made important discoveries about priorities (my mom is always looking out for me), appreciating the little things, and remembering to NEVER do things out of spite (my dad taught me this).  

Tonight is going to be full of putt putt golf, where I will probably lose but I will drink enough not to care. :) 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Live in the Future

Hi, my  name is Jenni, and I live in the future.
Semantically, this does not mean that I am from the future.  Just that I live there.  In my head.

When I pull a Tobias and reflect on a day's worth of what I say ("Tobias, you blowhard"), I find myself using phrases to depict what I will be like, what I would like to do as an adult in the "real world", and speaking in terms of someday.

At some point, I need to wake up and realize that someday is today.

My dad tells me that every day I wake up, I can start to be the person I want to be, act the way I want to act, and be in the mood I would like to be in.  It's hard to do.  Because I live in the future and all.

Future Jenni is going to be awesome; Present Jenni is "just getting by".

Present Jenni could be cool too, but she's like the lonely, ignored Harry Potter under the staircase because she hasn't reached out and like, saved lives and is awesome at quiddich and starts contraband study groups to combat the most feared and dangerous wizard in the world.... wait, this analogy fell apart somewhere.




Future Jenni says "Someday is tomorrow"
Procrastinator Jenni says "I'll start today tomorrow"
Present Jenni says "I am schizophrenic?  Why am I talking to myself so much as different people?"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Das über klassy

I was reminded today the important skill of staying classy.  I witnessed a cashier at the grocery store get yelled at by a customer who said that the cashier weighed her fruit incorrectly.  The woman called the cashier "incompetent", "a minimum wage dips**t" and multiple other obscenities focused around this woman's line of employment.  The cashier stayed calm and did her best to answer this yelly, obnoxious woman.  Once the woman left, I checked out with my garlic powder and bags of flour and asked the cashier if that sort of confrontational incident happens a lot.  She looked somberly at me and said "no, this is my second day as a cashier here."  I simply replied, "it will get better, I'm sure" and gathered up my things.  On my way out, I stopped by customer service, pointed at the cashier, and told them "that cashier is a great example of customer service.  I hope she is rewarded for taking the high road." and left.

Here's to you, cashier lady.



Stay classy, San Diego.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Breadsticks & WP7


I made Olive Garden breadsticks from scratch.
They were so buttery, garlicky, and delicious!!
And surprisingly easy.  It was also my first written recipe.  I can't wait to serve these at my bakery, maybe with soups or something, or maybe as take-home goodies for dinner!

On a slightly unrelated note, I took the Windows Phone Challenge today.
Nick and I stood in line for 2.5 hours this morning, but it was worth it because he's a really nice person and bought me chocolate milk :)
So we both ended up losing to the Windows phone guy, but I get a free Windows phone in exchange for an old Palm Pre Plus.  Windows phone looks pretty nifty, fast, and colorful............... if only it had swype, it might be a contender for my personal cell phone of choice.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dramatic link

Why on earth would I watch this video!!???????????????


I cried just looking at the words in the link!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stoic Cat


Stoic is a pretty cool word that is underused in daily conversation. 

I Really Should Read The Book

No post yesterday?  Here's the reason why...

Also, found out from this movie that fruits that look like blueberries are poisonous, which is unfortunate because I am planning on making blueberry pie in the near future and now I will be scared to eat it.

We sat in the very front row because we got to the theater a little late.  I felt nauseated the entire movie; the director decided to make a lot of "running through the woods" and "shaky camera" and "hallucination fuzziness" types of shots which didn't help.  But when I could keep my eyes open, it seemed pretty quality.  I'm really thankful we didn't spring for the IMAX experience.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Anonymous Beaver


Nick and I found some trees on our walk yesterday. It looks like a beaver went to town on them. Pretty cool. We are planning to check back in about a week to see if he made any more progress.

There are a few trees that the beaver seems to have knocked down, but we don't know what he plans on doing with those trees...?

Also, Nick mentioned that these bites look pretty fresh, and you can see all of the wood chips beneath them... we think that we stumbled upon a new project for the beaver and that he was just there last night.

Dear anonymous beaver, what are your plans???  I must know!





Sunday, March 11, 2012

Challah

Here's what I was going to post yesterday.  I made challah.  Not nearly as emotional as finding a dead mouse but much more appetizing...

It came out pretty nice but I must say that the first dough I made I completely eff-ed up the recipe and the dough was so sticky I couldn't even knead it at all.  I kept adding flour until I realized that this was going to taste like an eggy brick.  After an hour of feeling horrible that I wasted a whole bunch of ingredients, I decided to give it another go.  Great success!

I was trying to think of good challah jokes but.... didn't come up with any.  When I googled quotes about challah, I only got this lame quote:

“For about 15 minutes, Doug Flutie was the toast of New York-not just the toast but the challah and the pita and the croissants, too.” -  George Vecsey

Who the hell is Doug Flutie?  This is a boring old post.  


________
edit: I asked Nick "who the hell is Doug Flutie?" and of course Nick knew off the top of his head.  He's apparently a quarterback who threw that hail mary pass for Boston College which is like "one of the greatest plays in football".  The quote makes more sense, but this blog post is still lacking any relevant oomph.  Sigh.  Sorry guys.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Not Mickey Mouse

I was going to triumphantly blog about the challah bread I made last night... but instead I am going to gross everyone on this Saturday morning by posting a horrifying and unexpected experience I had.

I decided to go running this morning since it is almost 50 degrees outside (whaat) and sunny.  I put on my running clothes, put my hair in a ponytail, got my iPod+Nike all hooked up, and went to put my shoes on.  There was something in my shoe though, and of course I thought it was one of Bentley's toys (which I have found before in my shoe).  So I went to fish it out.....

.... and it was a dead mouse.  Like a real dead mouse, not just a Bentley toy.


GROSS.
I freaked out, started crying like I just found out Carlos on Desperate Housewives is blind, panic-called Nick...  I don't know how a mouse got in here!  And then how it died!  It looks like it was mauled or bitten or something because of that huge black mark... unless it has the black plague, and in that case I am going to die soon so someone please just award me a certificate in teaching so that my life is not all for nothing.

I think Bentley killed it.  Nick suggested that he died of old age, which is much worse because that means I was living with a mouse who decided one day to croak and then freak me out for the rest of my life.

I can never wear shoes again :(

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Staring Contest


"Hello, Bentley"
"Hello, Spotacus"
....
....
....
....
....
"What are you staring at, long neck?"
"You blinked!  I win!"
"What?  This was a staring contest??  What the hell dude?"
"Life in the wild is full of impromptu contests.  Survival of the fittest."
"My cousin is a lion, and I have tiger blood in me.  You wanna mess with this?  Let's go, two out of three"
"Bring it, sucka"
"I just realized your eyes are glued on, but I am going to play anyway because I don't get any more food until morning."


Friday, February 24, 2012

Creeper Cam #1


These two have been sitting here idly flirting while pretending to study at a local coffee shop for a couple of hours.  Girls will take a blow to their productivity when in the presence of a guy who is flirt-worthy.  She has a PC though, and he has a Mac, so I'm not sure it's in the stars for them to be together.  They obviously have differing views of the world.

At one point, hooded guy leaned back and made his move.  He then huskily growled the sexiest, most flirty thing a guy can say to a girl he is trying to woo:

"You have really small teeth."

Be still my heart.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lisa Frank

A grown man uses this notebook.  ---->
No judgment.

This takes me back to elementary school when Lisa Frank was super popular, and I was naively unhappy because I never felt like I possessed enough Lisa Frank paraphernalia in my life.

Must.  Have.  More.  Happy. Dolphin.  Montages.
IN EVERY COLOR.

I wonder if the school had upper limit on permitted Lisa Frank school supplies.  I feel like the colors would make old school administrators' eyes bleed.  Then again, those old people grew up in the 70s and 80s so they must have seen tie-dye at some point...

I googled Lisa Frank to see if this person (or idea?) is still around or if it died with the 90s, but sure enough...

Lisa Frank Online... the site GIRLS love!

There are so many colors, my brain exploded.  View at your own risk.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Water Pressure

Fun fact:  I really dislike taking showers.
I will do almost anything to get out of taking a shower.  I will even stand dangerously close to a shower head with my extremely expensive mobile phone and take pictures of a disgustingly pale yellow shower room to postpone the inevitable shower.

My cat empathizes with me which is great since most everyone else loves showers and it's like the highlight of their morning or some b.s. like that.

I would, however, really like to be able to live underwater, like a snail.  He has a whole castle, and he doesn't have to work a day in his life.

"Maybe I'll climb to the top of my castle today.  Why the hell not, I don't have research papers to write today... or any day.

Oh what's up neighbor fish?...  Damn you're fast."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Like Puzzle Pieces

You would not think it, but taking pictures of unfinished puzzles is sort of artsy itself.  I love the edges of the interior of the puzzle.

"Hm... I'm looking for a square-ish piece with a smaller thingie here and a really odd looking bulky edge on this side.  It is kind of green but also flowery.  You seen it?"